Optimizing Energy Efficiency in High-Rise Residential Buildings in Abu Dhabi’s Hot Climate: Exploring the Potential of Double Skin Façades

Narmeen Abu Hilal, Mahmoud Haggag, Abeer Dar Saleh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates energy efficiency in high-rise residential buildings in Abu Dhabi, where the increased use of glass building façades has led to increased air-conditioning costs due to heat gain. The research focuses on evaluating the type of glass and the appropriate cavity between glass façades to minimize energy consumption while incorporating sustainability and innovative design principles. To achieve these objectives, this study employs a Double Skin Façade (DSF), a high-performance façade that adapts to the external climate conditions to fulfill internal cooling load requirements and meet occupants’ needs. Data were collected through an online survey distributed among residents of a selected residential tower, and a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches was utilized to analyze the gathered information. The selected case study was analyzed using Energy Plus simulation software using the existing data and available details. The analysis aimed to identify the optimal DSF design that significantly enhances energy efficiency. The findings of this study emphasize the substantial impact of the optimum DSF design on energy efficiency in high-rise residential buildings. Through modeling existing data and comparing them with new model results for each variable, this study demonstrates that a DSF with a 35 cm cavity, comprising a double-glazed single skin layer in the interior and a Low-E double-glazed single skin layer as an outer layer, can reduce overall air-conditioning energy consumption by over 25%. These outcomes provide valuable insights into implementing DSF as a solution to address the unique energy challenges presented by high-rise residential buildings in hot climates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2148
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • Abu Dhabi
  • double skin façade
  • high energy performance building
  • high-rise residential buildings
  • hot climate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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